On May 8th, Boeing announced they have started the construction of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (747-8I). What the heck is the Intercontinental? It is the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8 Freighter (747-8F) that took flight back in February.
Lufthansa already has 20 orders with 20 additional options. “We are very pleased to see that the production on the 747-8 Intercontinental has begun,” said Nico Buchholz, senior vice president, Corporate Fleet of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We are looking forward to welcoming the aircraft in our fleet as it is a component of Lufthansa’s strategy to modernize its fleet and increase environmental stewardship. The 747-8 shows our clear commitment to customer orientation.”
The Boeing 747-8I is 18.3 feet longer than the Boeing 747-400 and can hold 51 more passengers in a three-class configuration. Visually you will be able to tell the new aircraft by the swept wings and larger upper-deck. The new version will have the next generation GEnx-2B engines and a wing design like the Boeing 747-8F, which will make the aircraft more fuel efficient. The Boeing 747-8I will incorporate some of the cool features of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Boeing is hoping the 747-8I will take flight by the end of the year and then deliver by late 2011.
Currently Boeing has 32 orders for the Boeing 747-8I and 76 for the Boeing 747-8F.